Friday 26 October 2018

Finance Fridays – Email scams

We were seeing how to make money out of referral schemes for last week's Finance Fridays. A couple of weeks ago we talked about student money laundering. The money is these cases has usually been stolen by criminal gangs. A common method to use now is through hacking and intercepting emails. If you are due to send money for a large amount be on the look out. Here are some of the things to be wary of.

If you are due to transfer money beware of changes of bank account details. Hackers can inform you that need to transfer the money to a different account. They will state something like 'a clearing account' or 'client account' needs to used instead. By the time the real company gets in touch with you to say they haven't received the money from you the money you did send to the scammers has been transferred on through several different bank accounts.

Before you transfer any money first of all check with the company about the bank account details. Ring them on a trusted number or visit them in person to check the details. You could always give them an old fashioned cheque. Before you transfer the full amount at first just send a small sum over to make sure it is going to the right account.

There are many other email scams which aren't individually targeting people. These 'phishing' emails usually try to get you to log into your account. The link they provide will be false so if you enter your details they will have your login details and password. It won't necessarily be bank account details they will be after but other accounts such as PayPal, Amazon, phone companies, HMRC and DVLA. Most of these organisations will never ask you to log into your account through a link sent in an email. Also look out for these other tell-tale signs:

The addressee
– As these emails are sent out en masse they won't know how to address you personally. The email will be addressed to your email address name or something like 'Dear Customer'.

Their email address – It's usually hidden when you first view an email but if you click on the address it will show one that you can tell isn't official.

Logos – As they have been taken off another website and then resized they can look blurry or fuzzy.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar – Often these scams originate from outside the UK and English isn't the first language of the scammer. Words will be spelt wrong and the construction of the sentences won't be right.

– These scammers will want you to hand over your details so they will try to persuade you that it is very important that you act as quickly as possible.

It you are concerned about the status of one of your accounts then open up a separate browser or window and type in the full website address. If there is anything odd showing contact the company straight away.

If you want to join in with this week's Finance Fridays then add your link to the linky below. Any post concerning financial matters is allowed. Full details here. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Tuesday 30th October 2018 to join in.

Finance Fridays

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